Flash Away Those Winter Blues

cluttered-closetThis weekend I cleaned out my closet by putting away my summer dresses and bringing out my winter sweaters. It’s amazing how comforting a big, cozy sweater is during the cold winter months!

Although, the comfy clothes are a positive, the change in seasons with short, cold days can often bring on the winter blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

What is SAD?

SAD is a type of depression that relates to the changes in season. Most often it occurs during fall and throughout the winter. Due to the days growing shorter we are exposed to less sunlight and colder temperatures which can make people feel moody and zap their energy. SAD can also cause depression in the spring and summer months, however, it is less common.

Many people feel they are extra tired in the winter and require more sleep, which is normal. After all, many animals hybernate in the winter months for a reason. They also put on extra pounds to be sure they have enough fat stored to keep warm and in case they can’t find food. We too have these tendencies but it’s important to recognize what is normal and what symptoms are SAD. If you are feeling “down” for consecutive days, you may want to look into treating the issue.

Signs and Symptoms of SAD

  • nausea
  • tendency to over eat especially carbohydrates, which lead to excessive weight gain
  • lack of energy
  • decreased sex drive
  • difficulty concentrating
  • social withdrawal
  • anxiety
  • body aches
  • feeling hopeless or worthless
  • having frequent thoughts about death

If you’ve had SAD before or if you feel you have a few of the symptoms, don’t just brush it off. Take action and seek help before it gets full blown.

Taking action may include:

  • Light therapy (phototherapy)
  • psychotherapy
  • medications (not recommended unless very severe)

imagesAlthough the majority of us would much rather be enjoying the longer days of sunlight and beautiful weather, it is important to recognize that you can be happy all year round. And when you can’t handle any more snow, perhaps it’s time to take that holiday in the Bahamas!

Michelle Wolfe

2 responses

  1. Pingback: The Grind | neurochangers

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